Mark Cope, Ph.D., was six months into his Postdoctoral Fellowship in Nutrition and Biostatistics at UAB when Solae, a DuPont Nutrition and Health Company, approached him about a job opening. Unfortunately, they didn’t end up filling the position.
The Warrior, Ala. native continued his fellowship developing animal models of obesity through an F32 National Institute of Health Training Award. He worked closely under David Allison, Ph.D., and Tim Nagy, Ph.D., in the Department of Nutrition Sciences which is where Cope received his doctoral in 2001.
Three years later, Solae called again and this time offered a job. Cope accepted a position as Clinical Nutrition Scientist overseeing weight management and sports nutrition products.
“My primary responsibilities are managing our clinical studies with external researchers in order to help establish science-based research to show health benefits of our ingredients,” said Cope.
Solae is the worldwide leader in soy‑based technologies and ingredients for products such as beverages, nutrition bars and dairy alternatives. Cope presents the clinical findings to customers and at scientific conferences as well as write reports and papers related to the nutrition research that the company supports.
“I have always been interested in how what we eat can play such a big role in what diseases we have and also how food can be a powerful part of prevention of certain diseases like cancer and obesity,” said Cope.
That’s why he chose the Nutrition Sciences doctoral program. His dissertation looked at the chemopreventive effects of vitamin A (Retinoids) in animal models of breast cancer.
He quickly learned during his school days to make early connections in order to build relationships to bridge the gap between school and real life career.
“The work force is much different than your ‘school network’ but take what lessons you have learned and apply them in the workforce,” said Cope. “You will be surprised how what you bring to the table will help others in ways they never though. Be unique and confident.”
Going on three years now, Cope’s job brings him in touch with people from all around the world. As a member of the UAB National Alumni Society, he’s not shy to show his pride in being a UAB alum.
“I share the Blazer message all over the world when I get up and talk about nutrition in front of people in the US, China, Brazil and in Europe,” said Cope. “No matter where I am I will always be a UAB supporter.”